Category Archives: Anthropology

More on my dear Great-Grandfather

Ghent, Belgium, is apparently considering naming a street after one of the Filipino Igarot tribe members abandoned by my great-grandfather there, circa 1913. Here’s a recent news story from the Philippines about my mother’s father’s father, Richard Schneidewind, and Timicheg, one of the tribespeople he displayed. Oh, great-grandfather Richard. Sigh.

Study Detects Recent Instance of Human Evolution

From the New York Times:

A surprisingly recent instance of human evolution has been detected among the peoples of East Africa. It is the ability to digest milk in adulthood, conferred by genetic changes that occurred as recently as 3,000 years ago, a team of geneticists has found.

The finding is a striking example of a cultural practice the raising of dairy cattle feeding back into the human genome. It also seems to be one of the first instances of convergent human evolution to be documented at the genetic level. Convergent evolution refers to two or more populations acquiring the same trait independently.